The revolution intensified, electrified as a Black man died on the streets of Minneapolis. The revolution, not propaganda, prevailed. Poets punched through the weak positions of pundits, we move on with purpose, with purpose, with purpose. We are revolutionaries: Black, Brown, Red, Yellow people with white allies standing on the front line, demanding on the front line, commanding on the front line in a world not designed for revolution, for transformation to truly exist!
Black liberation in a nation such as the United States? Whom can it really liberate?! What does Black liberation look like in 2021? What does Black liberation look like under the gun? Inside jail and prison cells? On hot asphalt with a police officer beating the back of a protestor? How can we weaponize Black liberation? How can we globalize Black liberation? What would a 21st century Black liberation movement look like with activists strategically demanding from the system of politicians and Facebook algorithms? How can we code or hashtag our way to Black liberation?
What does liberation mean? A new house? A nice car? A sneaker deal? A commercial suggesting that we “Support Black-owned businesses?” What is liberation? A fat bank account? An Audi with rims on it? More Black teachers instructing at inner-city schools with bare minimal funding or support? How do today’s young people define liberation? What about the middle aged and elder activists in our communities across the United States, how do you define liberation?
I remember a Black liberation front from the 1960s and the 1970s. It was uncompromising, engaging, forceful, fiery, never tired, triumphant, tackling police injustices — even if its leaders had to die. I remember the Black Panther Party knowingly using their knowledge of owning guns show up in public with those guns. I remember afros and bellbottoms in that stance for Black liberation. I remember Mexicans and Puerto Ricans who were also down with Panther Power. I remember Black liberals and leaders stepping away from the disenfranchising language of Christianity. Black liberation is all about a better world, a more united humanity.
What does Black liberation look like in today’s Black churches? What could Black liberation look like in today’s “liberal” white churches? What does the funding of Black liberation look like in 2021? Does Black liberation need funding?
Black children are choking/Choking in schools/
As their parents sing the blues/Sing sad songs/
The United States sold all of us on dreams/
We have torn its inside to see its inseam/
Those dreams you sold us were fake, false/
You exist on many lies, falsehoods!/
This country has never meant us any good/
We live, we try, we die, we devour in ‘hoods/
I see death happening in the city of Chicago/
I see million dollar condos, Yoga studios/
Where in the hell are my people supposed to go?!/
We are pawns, we are mere configurations/
Of the most racist system, situation, occupation/
How can we teach the children about liberation?!/
What on Earth happened to Freedom Schools?! What happened to the best tactics? Who is teaching Black, Brown, and Red children how to plant their own food?
Black liberation will never be a reality in this country if we cannot push passed the same ideas; the same political ideologies; the same campaigns that are not at all progressive. Black liberation will not happen if we, Black people, do not claim Africa in our hearts. Black liberation will not happen if Africa is not showing up in our music, in our movement, in our dance, in our communication, in our art.
You must love being Black/
We must love being Black/
We must acknowledge Africa/
We must know Ghana, Ethiopia/
We must come together all the time/
We must write, recite Freedom rhymes/
We must own, advance our own education/
We simply must live, live, liberation/